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Jm asked...

I came out of hospital, with a diagnosis of Myocarditis. I still have pain in the chest and I am off work for two weeks.

I'd like to know when the pain would stop, when can I have a normal life and what is the cause of this? The doctors in the hospital were unable to answer, they just sent me home after three days.

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The Answer

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle layer, known  as the myocardium.

The inflammation of this heart muscle is usually due to an infection, but there can be other rarer causes and sometimes no cause can be found. The infection will be due to a virus, bacteria or a fungus.

Typical symptoms may include chest pain (35% of people), shortness of the breath, palpitations and fatigue (greater than 50% of people). Other symptoms that can be experienced are fever, headache, swollen legs/ankles and muscles and joints that ache.

Most people will have an excellent recovery from myocarditis and will recover in a few days or a few weeks. The recovery will be dependent upon the infection, severity of the inflammatory response by the immune system and your health status. Often the infection goes away, but the inflammation caused by the infection lingers for a while in the heart and this can be the cause of further pain during this period of recovery. Analgesia will be used to manage the pain and athletic activities should be avoided for six months.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.

 

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